Welcome to 2020

24 Jan 2020

CWUnion Bulletin

Welcome to 2020! I hope this year accomplishes some gains and improvements in your working and living environment and I look forward to working with you on achieving as many successes as possible, in a sometimes harsh atmosphere. Please see some updates below for members:

PROGRAMMED (formerly SKILLED Labour Hire)
The CWU have had a significant win for members with back payments for unpaid wages while working on assignment at Telstra 000 ESAP. Some were reimbursed up to $12,000 of stolen wages which related to unpaid overtime and night shift penalties. Employees of Programmed raised the issue of underpayments with management which fell on deaf ears until the CWU became involved. The next issue to tackle is the exploitation of the casual workforce who mostly work regular consistent hours on an ongoing basis. Of course it’s cheaper to employ this type of workforce, however this essential service to the community isn’t going anywhere nor is the work guaranteed.

ESTA (Operations)
State Government approves 2019 Enterprise Agreement. The access period is now extended to 9/2 due to a minor difference in numbering of clauses that was picked up and voting concludes 21/2. The joint Unions endorse a YES vote, then, if voted up, FWC will certify the Agreement. In the meantime, ESTA have commenced work on the identified employees who were affected by the ‘hours of work’ underpayments.

A special thank you to all members who have worked tirelessly (under-resourced) over the last 12 months and particularly during fire season. As part of negotiations the Emergency Services Minister has announced an extra 20 staff to be employed in Police Call taking which will contribute to better staffing levels.

ESTA (Admin/Support)
There are now consultative committees established which have commenced meeting quarterly. As a result of these, a sub-committee has been formed to review all classifications and the current banding system.

The Enterprise Agreement has not been certified by the FWC yet and there is no known time frame for this. We will work with what we’ve got and see how quickly the Infraco Pty Ltd is formed.

The ESAP000 site faces severe under resourcing amongst other Occupational Health and Safety concerns and other workplace matters which are being addressed.

Telstra Retail had a few matters over the last 6 months, primarily concerning rostering, split shifts and team meetings. These seem to be resolved, let us know if they are not!

Members at TSA recently accompanied the CWU to the FWC regarding a consultation dispute. TSA sprung relocation on workers two weeks prior with little to no meaningful consultation, leaving some staff in the outer suburbs to travel an unreasonable distance to work. We successfully resolved the matter to the members’ satisfaction and TSA are actively involving the Union in future consultations.

There are two locations in Morwell and Lynbrook where staff numbers are expected to grow from 200 + to 500 employees. They host a call centre and their own NOC. We expect to see this as a growth area.

Optus have continued with their reduction of employees across Sydney and Melbourne. Optus are exploring the 5G network further and although 5G is still in early stages, they  are offering competitive rates, in competition with NBN.

The CWU hope to commence talks with Motorola, on behalf of members regarding an Enterprise Agreement.

Australia Post issues have escalated in the last few weeks, and include the issue of the changed “A/P Day” additional holiday which is now being programmed for 7 Feb (rather than between the Xmas and New Year period which has historically been arranged) Further developments on this relate to the fact that some members rostered (and willing to work) on this day are being advised that they “not required”, which makes for confusion. The other big issue relates to the new parcel facility at Somerton, which has extremely poor climate control for the workers. Temperature extremes appear not to be handled by the management – basically the warehouse is not fit for purpose for the workers inside it. Also, Operations staff appear to be doing technical type work which is unacceptable. Representations have been made, so we await a response.

How you can help your fellow union members in bushfire affected communities

The bushfire crisis has caused unprecedented destruction to people’s lives, including many of your fellow union members.

In addition to the devastating loss of life and property, it has caused disruption to work, closures to workplaces, loss of income and severe health and safety risks across Australia – in our regions and in our cities.

Union members have been on the front line fighting fires, saving lives, rescuing, caring, supporting and connecting essential services.

Union members losing income as a result need the support of the union movement – to ensure that they, their families and communities, can get back on their feet as soon as possible. But the current system of income support for those affected is wholly inadequate. It is not designed for a crisis of this scale.

The best way we can assist our fellow union members is by donating money to the ACTU Bushfire Relief Fund, which has been established to especially provide support to union members who may need support beyond that available generally.

DONATIONS:  https://www.australianunions.org.au/bushfire_relief_fund

CWU members suffering financial hardship as a result of the bush fires and who are unable to receive adequate compensation from other sources should contact the Branch – 9663 6815 or cdtsvic@cwu.asn.au to apply for assistance from the Fund.

In solidarity,


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